Tuesday, 29 September 2009

I almost forgot my Birthday!!

In all my writing madness I very nearly forgot that today is my blog's 2nd birthday. Happy Birthday Blog!! It's been 2 whole years and I'm loving blogging more than ever. Thank you to everyone who visits, comments and supports my blog. It means a lot to me (and my blog!).

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Writing, cleaning and almost being washed away

It's been another week of mad writing, and I'm happy to report that things are nicely on schedule for me to be finished before I go to Cyprus in just under 2 weeks. My current work count is around 68000 words which I think is just under 10000 words since last Sunday. This week I have struggled though: words just not flowing, tiredness taking over, a generally busier than normal work week. It all starts to gang up on me after a while but I'm not feeling deterred and I don't dare take more than a day off from it. For one reason I really miss it when I do take a day off and can't resist doing at least 100 words to keep JJ company over on the 100 words a day blog and for another it's harder to get back into once I've spent time away from it. It's definately become a habit now and I'm sure it will feel weird when I finish the first draft and have that break until the new year but I'm sure I'll keep myself occupied with a few short stories here and there.

In other news I finished Hens Reunited! Firstly I just want to say I finished it a week ago but didn't have time to blog (hence the Sunday only blogging) and it's taken me almost 2 months to finish purely because I have been writing so much and the only time I get to indulge in a good book is before bed and by that time it's late and I have to force myself to stop reading. There just wanted to explain that before you all wondered. You probably didn't and now you think me weird so I'll shut up now (nervous laugh).

So, yes... Hens Reunited which the lovely Lucy Diamond signed and awarded to me when I won her anagram comp. I LOVED it. I loved the three different characters, who although I didn't relate to one in particular, did have different traits I could relate to in some way. Katie and her meticulousness, Alice and her timidness and Georgia with her attitude to certain things. Thank you to Lucy for a great read and I look forward to reading about Laura (I read the interview too!)

It's not all been writing, writing, writing. Yesterday boyf, boyfs bro and g/friend and myself went to Beachy Head in Eastbourne to soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Whilst me and boyfs bros g/friend (thats hard to say) sunbathed the 2 boys went off to catch crabs (not what some of the dirtier minded of you are thinking). I had a little doze under this months edition of cosmo before I was woken by the tide coming in! Boyf and his bro did a bit of frisbying and luckily I only got hit by it once! I also did a spot cleaning today as my mum is back from Cyprus for a week on Wednesday. Mum if you are reading this we clean every Sunday not just cuz you are visiting, honest).

Thats all for now as I need to get back to the writing. Hopefully I'l squeeze a midweek post in but if not I'll see you Sunday.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

How I seem to be writing so much right now

Thanks to all the kind words over my ever increasing word count. I am still aiming to be finished by 8th October, ready to take to Cyprus with me for my mum to go through it. My word count currently stands at 57,775 words which is still a way off but I'm going for a daily word count target of just over 1000 words which I've been exceeding. I've managed about 2,000 words today so this is just a quick blog post before I get back to it. While I have a daily word count to stick to I realise that it is still important to have a life so I have to make up for days I've missed at the weekend. Today I have to make up for Thursday where I went to see Ray Lamontagne at the Royal Albert Hall. It was the first time I had been there and I was amazed. It's a beautiful building. Ray was amazing, I cannot get over his voice.

Some of you wonder how I've managed to fit the writing in and keep it going. Well firstly there's:

Speed - I type pretty fast. I make shed loads of spelling mistakes which future me can deal with but for now I think dealing with spelling mistakes will only disturb my flow.

Wine – this tends to help when I've been at work and need to relax. I don’t have a problem, it's just the one glass of wine, not bottle. It is amazing where my imagination goes when I've had a drink or two. I still have to do the read through so I wouldn't take this as a tip or anything.

My family - I get plenty of encouragement from them. My mum tells me off for farting around on face book. She is in Cyprus but still she knows these things. My sister constantly sends me well done messages on my word count which along with all yours is a real boost. And my dad, constantly helping out with my research aids and as it's just us living in the gaff while my other 2 supporters cheer me on in sunny Cyprus, he never moans when I come in from work and park myself on my bed, lap top on lap and I don’t resurface until the word count is complete.

Treats - after every 1000 words (500 on weeknights) I allow myself a treat, be it a glass of wine, a quick peak at facebook or a look at someones blog. I remain strict with it though and it seems to be working.

Novel Racers - Ever since I became an official racer I've not stopped with the writing. Also Helen's 100 words a day blog helps as well!

I haven’t become a total hermit. I have a boyf, who is totally understanding when I say I have to write. He doesn’t mind having to go to the pub with the lads instead. Also my friends have all ventured into the world of motherhood so are a little preoccupied lately. but hey, this is my baby so I can't complain.

Also this writing increase has only been a recent thing, so I've not been that good. I starting writing my novel 2 years ago. I've faffed, procrastinated, taken lengthy breaks, concentrated on short stories. Only now am I finally getting my arse into gear. I hope to finish soon, and move to phase 2 in the new year. So while I'm not working my fingers to the bone (quite literally) I can concentrate on blogging more.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Writing, catching up with friends and looking miserable behind Derren Brown

I managed to stop just shy of 50000 words complete today. I think that makes it roughly 9,000 words this week which isn't bad as I've had a bit of a busy week socially speaking. As you'll have seen from my last post I went to see Inglourious Basterds with boyf on wednesday (which can I just reiterate is bloody brilliant!), thursday I had the day off to go and see Derren Brown tell us how he predicted the lottery which aired on Friday. You may have seen me looking a bit miserable behind him. This was because it took about 4 hours to film and my feet were killing me. Still, he was very nice chatting to people between takes. I wish I could remember the name of the warm up guy on the Derren Brown show because he was so so funny and kept us in belly laughs between takes.

Then on Friday I went with a friend to see Dorian Gray. I didn't do a review for this as I have not had time. Hopefully I will get time tomorrow but I will say I didn't really enjoy it so much but I am so glad Colin Firth was in it because I might just had walked out halfway through. Still I like to keep an open mind and I have seen worse (Dance Flick anyone??)

Saturday was meant to be a catch up day writing wise but a good friend of mine was in town so we met for coffee and I spent the rest of the day in the pub soaking up what was left of the sun. I don't feel at all guilty because I do think I earnt it. I have been typing away so much this week I might be starting to wear down my fingerprints.

I also did a teeny bit of procrastinating where I came across this great site. If you click on the pic above you can see some other great pics and I especially love the 'will write for chocolate' merchandise. It's almost as if it were made especially for me as the half eaten giant bag of M&M's at my side will prove.

Anyway I shall leave it there as I am hoping to have this novel finished in.... dare I say it.... 3 weeks. Just in time for my trip back to Cyprus to see my Mum who has so kindly agreed to read over the first draft with me. Ahhhhh proof reading friend!!!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Film Review: Inglourious Basterds

Stars: Brad Pitt, Mike Myers, Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Samuel L. Jackson (narrator)

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Plot: The movie set in Nazi-occupied France begins with SS officer Colonel Hans Landa (Waltz), nicknamed 'the Jew Hunter' discovering a Jewish family hiding under the floorboards of a farmhouse and killing them with only the daughter making an escape.
Aldo Raine (Pitt) puts together the Basterds, a team of 8 Jewish-American soldiers who specialise in killing Nazis. They leave their mark by gruesomely scalping the dead and marking those left alive. Despite the title the film isn’t all about them and as a consequence they aren’t on film all that much.
We are then moved on a few years later where in Paris we see Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) the daughter of the family killed by Lander, has created a new life for herself under the new identity of Emmanuelle Mimieux and is now the owner of a cinema which is to host the unveiling of Joseph Goebbels' new film ‘Nations Pride’ starring a German Soldier besotted with Shosanna/Emmanuelle. This night brings the film to its climax with each of the characters intertwining.

Funny scenes: There are plenty of funny moments but one in particular was the German officer(s) playing the game 'who am I' where they have a card with a famous persons name stuck to their head. Pitt and Waltz’s characters are very funny. Waltz is brilliant at portraying evil and hilarious all at the same time.

Look out for: Mike Myers, I didn’t realise it was him until about 5 minutes into this scene. See if you can spot him!!

Unfortunately: you might find some of the scenes a bit lengthy but thankfully, for me, Waltz was a joy to watch. His cool, calm and collected voice just reels you in and you just love him. You know you shouldn’t but you do. The film moves from French to English to German (even a little Italian) so can get a bit confusing and what I find with subtitled films is that you miss a lot when you are staring at the bottom of the screen for half the film. It was also a bit too gruesome in some parts for me but hey you might like that sort of thing.

The film manages to poke fun out of history but also stirs up emotions. Fictional characters are mixed with real life historical figures including Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. The film contains plenty of blood and gore and one scene in particular that looked like something out of Scarface.

Verdict: Excellent. I love Tarrantino films and I was not dissapointed here. This has to be his best one yet. It's not at all historically accurate but its not a documentary after all!! Waltz was the shining star of the film for me.

9 out of 10!!!!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

I told a porky but I liked it!

I've had a productive week this week. Since Monday I have managed to write 10918 words which has meant that I have finally reached the half way mark. It took me just over 2 years (how bad is that!) to get this far but I am so focused right now I will not let it take me another 2 years to write the other 50%. If I can keep up the momentum I might even finish before the 23rd December. I aim to start the rewrite after mine and boyf's mini break in the new year so I would like at least a month off from the novel before it all kicks off again.

It wasn't all work and no play for me. My brother and sister in law had their 2nd wedding reception last night. It was a great night but the highlight for me was when my sister in law's 8 year old neice asked me what I did for a living. This, I thought, was an odd question for an 8 year old but I obliged nonetheless. Now, in my defence I thought that explaining to an 8 year old that my job involved drawing up contracts for IT contractors was more than just a tad boring and perhaps hard to explain so, I lied.

"I write books" was my reply. (Write books, writing a book, well almost the same thing.)

DO YOU??? she said as though I had just told her I sing in a really famous girl band or something equally as popular to an 8 year old. She looked at me in awe. Unfortunately it didn't last long as she proceeded to ask me if I was an illustrator (there was no bending the truth there) and then she asked why I was wearing green tights (I couldn't really explain that one away). Bright girl but asks way too many questions. That moment made me feel so proud to be doing this and I cannot wait to say I have written a book. I guess that, as well as being an official NR now is what is keeping me going.